15 years ago I was looking for glass beads to add to my jewellery designs and I found that the generic bead was a tad boring. then I found handmade beads
I couldn’t find the beads I imagined for my jewellery projects, everything looked too the same. I was looking for unusual, stand-out beads to reflect my designs. one thing leads to another and ….
I learnt to make beads on a simple butane torch. I spent two hours making 7 beads. I was inspired by the flame, captured. done. the bright, viscous-dripping glass and the possibility of designing all my own beads was ultimate control. or so I thought. I immediately bought my own torch and within a few weeks I had upgraded to a lamp working torch for bead makers. This was the turning point.
The first necklace, made from the first 47 hand made glass beads, was created on the butane torch. It was a project of determination. At the last moment, I realised I didn’t have enough beads to complete the necklace, so I returned to the torch to make the extra three beads needed. I barely waited for them to cool down in the vermiculite bath before I threaded them on, still very warm to the touch.
the vermiculite bath has since been replaced with a tetlow kiln to anneal the glass beads overnight. annealing regulates the cooling process to reduce glass stress and cracks.
I love the ancient mysteries of fire, molten glass and metal: the hot fusion creation. I am the artisan learning the trade: hours at the flame, melting, shaping and adding glass and metal, to capture a bead.
My tendencies are toward the slow, handmade artisan product. The beauty of the individual design and a deep appreciation of art in the everyday is how emubeads began.
artisan glass beads